Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cloud Dough

Back in July my friend Ashley posted about making Cloud Dough for her boys to play with and I filed it in the back of mind for something I wanted to do... One day. In July I had no reason to make cloud dough since Bean has a sandbox of her very own at her Mimi's house, and we go to the park in the summer as much as possible. But it's not July anymore and it's definitely feeling like fall outside.

Yesterday was the perfect day to make Cloud Dough. It rained all night and was chilly and overcast all day. Bean was getting antsy being couped up inside and when I asked her if she wanted to get dressed and go for a walk she informed me that it was cold outside... which I took as a 'no'.

Cloud Dough
8 cups of flour
1 cup of baby oil

Mix both ingredients with your hands in a storage bin until it's well incorporated and the 'sand' is moldable.
It took about 5 mins of mixing to be rid of the clumps of oil.

Be sure to let your kiddo(s) loose either outside or on sweepable flooring - like bathroom linoleum which is where Bean got to play.

This Cloud Dough is amazing, so silky soft, super moldable, it smells nice, it cleans up easy - and it held my girl's attention for OVER an HOUR!!! In toddler-ville an hour of quite play is almost unheard of. The fact that it's a legit sensory activity - read: good for her motor skills development- makes it an even better rainy day activity.

When she finally decided she was done playing I scooped up the Cloud Dough and put it into a gallon ziplock freezer bag. It filled it up about half way, and will be able to be stored in the craft closet until she wants to play with it again.

Picture proof that she loved it:

This was the perfect amount for my one Bean. 
I'd make this recipe x the number of kids you have. 2 kids? Double it. 3 kids? Triple it. etc.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tune in Tuesdays!!

Ok so it's Wednesday. Sorry about it, this morning I thought it was Friday... once I realized it wasn't Friday I thought it was Tuesday. I sat down to post my Tune in Tuesday post and then looked at my phone where I discovered it was Wednesday already. Sheesh. I'm a mess.

Sorry it's late. I don't even know if anyone cares about my Tune in Tuesdays posts since they get the lowest view count of any of my posts, and rarely get a comment, but I enjoy searching through and finding fun songs on YouTube and posting them.

This weeks is by Todrick Hall. He's a YouTube sensation who is internet-famous for doing suuuuuuuuuuper awesome flashmobs. He is a great singer and performer. When my friend "Sissa" introduced me to him I spent 2 hours clicking through all his videos.

This one is called CinderFella. lol. Bean and I watched Cinderella for the first time yesterday so I thought it was appropriate - and hilarious. (Disclaimer: it is a bit of a PSA for legalizing gay marriage, which I unapologeticly support. If you don't, you may not enjoy the message at the end of the video.)

If this was a bit much for you - it IS quite the production full of celebrity cameos - here, I'll give you a link to my favorite flashmob that he has done too. See? I forgot the day of the week, so you get a double feature today! :) You're welcome!

If you didn't enjoy that you're dead inside. ;)

Happy hump day, ya'll!!

Nic + Bean

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tune in Tuesdays!!

Whoops! It's 11:35 on Tuesday night and I allllllllllllllllmost forgot to post a song for Tune in Tuesdays!

Things have been a'movin and a'shakin around here lately and I don't know up from down let alone the day of the week. Sorry about this lapse, if all goes well I'll be able to talk about what's been going on.... soon-ish.

Without further adieu, here is this week's song:

P!nk just came out with her newest album The Truth About Love, and I've been listening to it all day on Spotify. I don't know that I have a favorite song off this album, but this one is pretty catchy and the guy that you hear singing on the track is the lead singer from the band Fun. I'm a pretty big fan of Fun.'s songs, so I think this one will be pretty popular.

It's a fun album, and I love love love P!nk, so check it out if you've got a Spotify account, the whole thing is there for free!


Nic + Bean

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Super easy, super delicious Pumpkin Drop Cookies

Super Easy, Super Delicious Pumpkin Drop Cookies

1 15oz can of Libby's pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 box of cake mix. (Spice Cake or Carrot Cake are my faves)
1/2 bag of chocolate chips
1/4 bag of cinnamon chips (optional)
unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 275*F
Place all ingredients into bowl (Bean is great at pouring ingredients into the bowl) and mix until well incorporated.

Drop tablespoon sized balls of dough onto sprayed cookie sheet.

Bake for 18-25 mins.

 they don't spread much, but they have a light cakey consistency

Let sit on cookie sheet for 5 mins before transferring to cooling rack.

Cool completely before storing in cookie jar or air tight container.

Makes approx 45-60 cookies depending on size.

I've found with the lower baking temperature and longer baking time the outside 'crust' says crispy and the inside stays cakey - without being too wet on the inside. These are DELISH!!!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Day Out With Thomas

It is no secret that my girl LOVES Thomas the Tank Engine. (Which, by the way, I thought he was Thomas the Train before she became obsessed, but now I know better... he's a tank engine. Now you know.) As part of her birthday present Jeff and I bought tickets to the Day Out with Thomas event at the Colorado Railroad Museum. When I bought the tickets I was pumped, convinced she would freak the freak with excitement. As the day grew closer I started to worry that she'd be afraid when her favorite TV character was there in her real life world. I was sort of right on both counts.

When we were there she was a little unsure about riding Thomas.

She didn't like when they blew the train whistle, she didn't want to get too close to real Thomas, and when we were riding the loop around the museum (we went around 3 times) it took her 1.5 loops before she was brave enough to get off my lap and look over the edge of the train car and look where we were going.

Once she did you could see her excitement on her face and she waved "bye-bye" to all the people we passed.

Once we got off the train ride we walked the event. We stood in line to get our picture taken with Thomas, but it really wasn't THAT great of a picture and it was WAY too expensive to buy, so this one my mom took will have to work as our souvenir picture. It's not too bad, considering we were looking at the over-priced-professional-photographer and not at her.

 She got a temporary tattoo of Gordon on her shin, she watched the model mini trains go around and around on the tracks, Mimi bought her a scoop of ice cream, and she got to play with Thomas legos (while snacking on kettle corn).

It was a really nice event and a beautiful day. It was a bit warm, and she had her first gymnastics class earlier that morning, so by the time we left she was exhausted. I'm so glad we were able to take her to this Day Out with Thomas event, even though she seemed a bit reserved while we were there she talked about Thomas and the choo-choo tracks for days afterward. I know she had a blast, and Jeff, Mimi and myself all had a blast watching her explore and get excited about something she loves.

(there were other super awesome trains at the museum, but we were too hot and tired to see them all)

If you have a Thomas lover in your life I highly recommend bringing them to see Thomas in person at the Day Out with Thomas event when they come to a city near you. And if your Thomas lover happens to be a girl, rest assured that there were quite a few little girls running around. :)

(I was not compensated in any way for this review of our Day Out with Thomas. I genuinely enjoyed the event and honestly do recommend taking your kid(s) to see him. The opinions are 100% my own.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tune in Tuesdays : 9/11 edition

No happy go lucky irrelevant songs seemed appropriate given the day. None of the 9/11 tribute songs seemed good enough, and I couldn't bring myself to watch - let alone post - a video with the actual news footage of that day, so....

Jon Stewart's monologue on his first show back post September 11, is humbling to say the least. Through his tears he is profound and inspiring, and occasionally funny to break the tension.

I will never forget the things I saw on my tiny tv in my bedroom or the feelings I felt that morning. I will never forget the deep sadness I felt when I visited ground zero a year later.

I am forever grateful to the heroes that came together that Tuesday morning, and to those who still put their lives on the line every day, not knowing what they'll encounter as the day progresses. My heart goes out to all those who lost their lives or their loved ones 11 years ago.

I can't believe it's been 11 years.

Nic + Bean

I'll post a fun song next week. Promise.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Bean's 1st Gymnastics class

Saturday was a big day for our sweet Bean Girl. It was her first ever gymnastics class. If it weren't for the fact we were running late and came running through the rec center like bats out of h-e-ll, not sure where we were going - but we were running wherever it was we went, Jeff carried her, I carried the camera bag and purse, if it weren't for all THAT I think I would have gotten a little too emotional about my girl's first class. Instead, we burst through the doors, quickly greeted my mom, not-so-politely asked her to take pictures (sorry mom), and jumped in line behind the other tots and their parents.

We were to go from station to station where the littles were supposed to do that specific skill before moving on to the next station. For the most part Bean loved it, and did really well at grasping the skill. Some things, like the barrel roll down the foam wedge, are going to take some practice.

She jumped up and skooched across the bail thingie:

Then she crawled under the tunnel thingie:

Then she did a somersault down the wedge thingie:

Then she bear-crawled up these beams:

Then she jumped up and down like a maniac on the trampoline, but none of those pictures turned out. After that she'd hop from one spot to another, then in and out of a hoola-hoop that was on the floor, then she'd bear-crawl across a yoga mat, then she'd look at me like I was nuts when I tried to get her to do a barrel roll down another foam wedge, then she'd jump from a spring board up onto a bouncy mat thingie and hop like a froggy across it... none of these pictures turned out, but I assure you, she was a pro and so so cute while doing the moves.

Then he'd hang from a high bar and kick over a foam cylinder thingie:

Then she'd hang from another high bar and walk up the wedge that was leaning against the wall, she surprised me with her ability to walk all the way to the top of the wedge!

After that, she'd go to a taller high bar and just hang from it. So, she'd grab it, pull her legs up and swing:

Then she'd climb up a ladder and get to the tall balance beam and walk across it, holding our hands of course!

After she'd hop off this beam there'd be one more balance beam that was MUCH closer to the ground, she seemed to like this one better than the tall one:

And then the course would start over again. She did the whole circuit 3 or 4 times before class was over. She really loved all the gymnastic skills!

At the end of the class we played with the parachute. She's played parachute games before at the Library's storytime, so it wasn't anything new to her, but she still liked it. She didn't like going underneath the parachute, though, so when the other kids were doing that she played with Mimi on the high bars.

I can't wait until next Saturday's class. Bean loved it, and so did Jeff and I. I'm not sure if my mom will come next week or not (that's up to her), but I am so thankful she was able and willing to be there for her first class and take pictures. I may not have gotten emotional at the class due to our tardiness, but I did while looking through and editing the photos at home.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Promises, Promises

Since my last substantial blog post I feel like so much has happened, and I haven't taken the time to post about any of it while it was happening, and now I feel like there's too much to talk about and it's too far in the past that I can't write about it now. But all that seems silly, so here goes... the Cliffs Notes version of all our stuff.

-/+ Bean lost Hoppy (her bunny lovey) and after a tearful 24 hours and a wannabe replacement was purchased she found her again. Thank goodness!

- Thanks to her ear infection at the beginning of August (where she needed antibiotics, her first time on meds, ever, to cure it) she came down with the most painful looking yeast diaper rash I could have imagined. I'd seen pictures of yeast diaper rashes before, but had never seen one in person, and OMG I felt so bad for her!!! After trying all the homeopathic treatments I could find online I finally had to bring her BACK to the Dr to get prescription Nystatin cream - which helped, but didn't cure it. Now that the cream is gone (yes, now because we're STILL battling it) we're alternating Lotramin A/F spray and 1% hydrocortisone ointment - as well as a neosporin/diaper cream mixture at night because the Lotramin dries her out so bad that her skin is cracking and bleeding. Oh, and high doses of probiotics mixed into her milk. It's been an uphill battle for over two weeks now. My poor girl.

+ Jeff and I got to go to the Incubus concert in Denver and had an amazing time!!! They never disappoint in concert and it was great to have a night out with my hubby.


- I'm 95% sure we got a red light ticket when we left the concert. We didn't run the red light, but we turned right while it was red. In Vegas that's allowed, apparently it's not always allowed in Colorado? But we're not used to looking for red-light-rules posted on the light poles, and we weren't sure of where we were going so we were paying more attention to our GPS and traffic, and didn't notice any signs that said we couldn't do it. But as we turned right onto the street a traffic camera flashed really bright into our car, so we're waiting to see if we get a ticket in the mail. I'm not sure how much those cost, but I'm not looking forward to paying for it.

- She is really settling in to her 'Twos' and by that I mean; she's realllllllly into saying NO to everything, dramatic crying, as well as mastering the fake cry, and has hit me twice in the last two weeks when I made her sit down to eat lunch. Oy!

+ Her vocabulary and personality are blossoming more every day. It's so nice to be able to talk to her so much more. We have actual (short) conversations now about how her day is going, or what the dogs did, or what she saw at the store, etc - instead of her saying a word and me trying to guess what it is she means to say. She also hilariously reprimands the dogs. I don't think the dogs understand her, but I do and it's hilarious that she tries to be the boss of them.

+ She's being really great about doing her 'chores' and using her manners. I say chores loosely since she loves doing them, and she uses her manners on her own usually. Please/Thank You/You're Welcome have been big points of mine to push on her. We really want her to be an appreciative and polite child, and I think we're doing a great job so far. We do have to prompt her every so often, but she usually uses them on her own. Her chores include: 1.)Letting the dogs out of their crates in the morning 2.)Putting her jammies in her clothes hamper after we get her dressed in the morning, and then putting that day's clothes in the hamper when we change her out of them at night before bed. 3.)Feeding the dogs 4.)Taking her plate to the trash/sink - emptying the leftover food into the trash, with our help if it was something messy 5.)Putting her toys/books away before bedtime 6.)Helping with laundry - she helps me sort the clothes into piles by color/type, and helps me put the wet clothes into the drier.  She loves to help, loves when we congratulate and thank her when she's done, and loves to clap and Yaaaaay! for herself.

+ Since Emily has started Kindergarten, meaning I'm not watching her anymore, Bean has adjusted her schedule back to waking up around 8:30-9:00 in the morning again and I couldn't be happier! I know it's not normal for a toddler to sleep in, but I'm not going to complain about it. I am NOT a morning person and waking up at 7am every day just about killed me! hahaha Needless to say, I've enjoyed sleeping in!

Hmm... I think that's all we have to update on for now. We had a really super busy, amazing, day today and I took about a zillion pictures so I have a lot of photo editing to do before I can post about it. Stay tuned! :o)

took this today at CSU's flower garden

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tune in Tuesdays

Today is my first weekday back in the lazy-stay-at-home-mom schedule. That means Emily has officially started Kindergarten (her first day is today), and it's just me and Bean again. I know she'll miss Emily in a few days, but I'm excited to get back to spending one on one time with my girl. Snuggling while watching Word World in the morning and eating afternoon snack in my bed after her nap. Things that she didn't want to do when Em was here. Also, the house will be SO much quieter with only Bean here - two kids ratchet up the volume by about 5x!

To break the one-kid-silence I think we'll have a dance party. Just me and her. And our dog, Roxanne - she loves to dance on her back legs with us. My fave song to dance to, when Jeff isn't here, is "Send Me On My Way" by Rusted Root. Jeff makes fun of me SO HARD for loving this song, but I love this song so so so much. How can you not dance to this song? How can you not smile when this song comes on? Not that it comes on the radio anymore - it's an old hippie song - but I love it and since it's on my Spotify playlist I get to hear it quite often. :-D

Crank up the volume on your speakers and dance. It's a short week thanks to Labor Day, if nothing else THAT is reason enough to be smile, get up and dance!

If you listened to it, and cranked it like I told you to, you're totally happier now. That song boosts my mood every time I hear it! 

Nic + Bean

If you want to link up with my blog-hop do it here :)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Florida Gators Wreath

The summer birthdays have passed, the weather is getting cooler, apples are in season and cheap at the orchards, and finally; yesterday college football officially started. Football season.... err, FALL is my favorite season. I am a die hard Florida Gators football fan, and since Jeff and Bean are from Las Vegas - who doesn't have a football team worth following - I'm determined to have a Gators family! (Jeff picks the NFL, NHL and MLB teams we root for. I get college football dagnabit!)

I needed to make a new wreath to celebrate this favorite time of year and had been dreaming about how I'd design my Gators wreath. I had been searching Pinterest for months in preparation, but didn't find any team-inspired wreaths that really spoke to me so I decided to make a ribbon wreath - something I'd been wanting to do ever since I started making wreaths, but it never seemed like it'd work that whatever season/holiday I was making a wreath for. I love love love how it turned out.

It cost about $30 and took about 8 hours. It's so festive, I love it! GO GATORS!!!

(To view the other wreaths I've posted here on my blog click here and here I have made a total of 8 wreaths so far, though I haven't posted pictures of all of them.... perhaps one day I will. It's addicting and so much fun!)